We are meeting Schmidt on New Year’s Eve, 2008, while he awaits the arrival from Paris of Alice Verplanck, a well-to-do widow of his former law partner. He has been in love with her for years. Yet he has not seen her for 15 years, since a conflict arose at the discovery of her relationship with another man while she was involved with Schmidt. While Schmidt is waiting, the story turns back those 15 years. We find out that Alice’s husband was involved with his French lawyer-friend, Bruno, and died of AIDS (Alice had found out after one of her children died suddenly). Alice was later involved with Schmidt’s former college classmate, an obnoxious Bulgarian refugee. We get bits and pieces about Schmidt’s marriage, the death of his wife, and a very complicated relationship between him and his only child, Charlotte, who lost her child in pregnancy and subsequently became seriously depressed and sought treatment from a psychoanalyst. Charlotte’s unhappy marriage and difficult relationship with Schmidt were complicated by the intrusions of her bitchy psychiatrist–mother-in-law. After the loss of her child, Charlotte divorced, found another man, and started to patch her relationship with Schmidt, and then she tragically died. Schmidt, at the sunset of his life (he is 78 now), is a lonely man yearning for the last chance at a meaningful relationship, this time with Alice. That is the core of Schmidt’s latest story, but the happenings are also intertwined with the stories of his billionaire boss, his former girlfriend, and his friends.